Mis-conception: Compared to 4,661 in 2008-09, only 424 men underwent the procedure in 2014-15
  • vasectomy

Despite Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) propagating and promoting family planning and birth control measures, the civic body’s vasectomy (male sterilisation) programme has witnessed a steep downfall since its inception in 2008.

According to the figures provided by the BMC, from 4,661 vasectomy procedures were registered in 2008-09, which reduced to 729 in 2013-14. And In 2014-15, total vasectomy surgeries dropped to a record low of 424 — 1/5th of the figures registered in 2008-09.

November 7 will be celebrated as World Vasectomy Day so that awareness is spread in encouraging men to come forward and undergo the process.

Dr Mangala Gomare, deputy health officer, family welfare department in BMC said: “Compared to tubectomy, vasectomy is a simple and safe procedure. More and more people should come forward.”

She added that the BMC is ready with banners and posters to spread awareness on vasectomy. “We want the educated class to come forward for the male vasectomy programme. We have also trained many doctors to conduct vasectomy,” said Dr Gomare.

Family planning experts say that it is high time the community’s biased nature towards women should change and men should come forward. “Prevention of pregnancy still remains a woman’s prerogative. This needs to change. Vasectomy is the true metrosexual man’s way of saying to his wife how much he loves her,” said Dr Sangeeta Pikale, gynaecologist and ex-president of association of medical consultants.

Vasectomy, a permanent contraception procedure, involves clamping, cutting or sealing of the man’s vasa degerentia — the tube carrying sperms from each testicle so that it doesn’t get mix with the semen. While tubectomy, another permanent contraception procedure, the woman’s fallopian tubes are clamped and sealed to prevent eggs from reaching the uterus for fertilisation.

Pikale said that unlike vasectomy, tubectomy cause menstrual disorders in women after a few years of the surgery, thus increasing the morbidity and her chances for need of hysterectomy increases. According to BMC’s figure, a total of 20,724 tubectomies were performed in 2014-15 while 41,608 intrauterine device (IUDs) were performed in 2014-15.

IUDs like Copper-T is another permanent birth control method for women wherein a small device is fitted in the uterus to prevention pregnancy. “The country definitely needs to have an active birth control programme to take care of our rising population. The participation of men is lacking. Awareness should reach the masses that vasectomy is easier, safer and cheaper and much more effective than other options that men choose,” said Dr Pikale.

The Centre had doubled the incentive from Rs550 to Rs1,100 for every man undergoing vasectomy. Other city gynecologists, too, agree with the BMC. Dr Anita Soni, gynaecologist, Hiranandani Hospital said: “Presently, we operate upon only 4-5 women a month for family planning. Hardly any men come forward for operations. If the non-surgical vasectomy is available at nursing homes and hospitals, more men might opt for it.”